How would I treat people who “suck” at the game (me not included)?
A topic came up yesterday on sc2practice.com and I voiced my opinion there, even though it was offtopic. Because I knew what the stuff was about, I knew what was up despite giving a generic answer. I will expand on that opinion furthermore.
A Silver-level Terran player (aka Lufas) was a bit puzzled that we weren’t telling her when she played poorly. In general, I don’t tell people that they suck because I believe in Karma: If I tell people they “suck”, I will be told that I “suck” in return. That, and it’s a judgement of value on someone’s unrefined, barely birthing play. It’s like telling a very small budding tree (when it’s all frail and shit) that it ain’t a tree (then accessorily proceed to crush it before it even feeds off of the soil and becomes a sturdy tree over time).
If someone really sucks at the game, it means they don’t even have a clue of what they’re doing. They don’t even know that you must never take a gas at 6 or something (I’ve seen it done – I’m still trying to get my buddy out of it :D). As in, they need directions of what this does, what you can’t get away with and stuff. Luckily, back when I literally sucked I was treated nicely by the guys on the Teamliquid channel. I told them that I totally sucked and didn’t know shit about the game, yet still showed “promise” upon my 2nd game at ‘faster’ speed. Then Bronze Practice came into place and observing games allowed me to know what I just couldn’t get away with. Basically, Patch 1.2 was the end of my terribad-sucking “Forever Bronze” days (and I’m not talking about Bronze players who actually watch streams and are just not at ease with the whole stuff, I’ll come back to those later).
Now, the better one gets, the more understanding they get and the higher the standards go. While I’m terribly bad at handling it for myself, I can motivate others to reaching other heights (and this is life-tested, life-proven) even though my ways are unorthodox.
There’s this guy (myself) who sucked at Basketball (still sucks, being good at basketball means I’m in the NBA/Euroleague). Then again, there also was this dude who didn’t know much about basketball. So, back then I was the better player at the team (and I was also fit, oh the good days) but there also was this guy who was on the bench, not getting much playing time. In my free time, I would take the ball and go to the hoops and just go for it, go for it, go for it. That bench guy wanted to get better so he joined me in one of these sessions and asked me how he could manage to get better. I willfully accepted to get him to improve at the game.
What I would do is setting objectives, giving some directives on how to do things, at times doing quite the nutty stuff (obstacle courses, extreme drills, you name it). I’d do them effortlessly (or with some struggle) and would really push him to do them. Whether he would complete them or not was not the deal, it was all about getting him to do those things since they would be useful in a game. We also watched tape (as in, footage of supergood basketball players doing their work – i.e. NBA players). The more we did that, the more we took some chill time outside of basketball (be it studying or just going to a Counter-Strike LAN).
Well, guess what, he’s one of my best friends now.
Because I didn’t go all “You’re a bench-warmer, you don’t have a future”, “You suck”, “You don’t have a future”, “gtfo scrub” (and anything bashful you’d see in the Internet) and actually helped him into getting better, not only did I win me a superfriend but he also got better. He ended the year in the starting five and we actually kept on playing for whichever team we’d be in until studies called me and I went overseas.
Did you notice that I said “helped him get better” and not “got him to be better”? It’s because he did the work himself. I just ignited a spark, leveled up expectations the more he was doing and that’s it. He was getting better, I knew it. I just set up higher objectives every time. Despite the fact that he failed, I let him fail. I’d even put him in situations where he would more than probably fail at some point but would congratulate him on failing because the point was that he just had to test things out himself.
So, yeah. Back to the point.
In StarCraft II, you won’t see anything like that and I’m in a position where I’m the bench warmer. So far, I haven’t found anything like that. Despite all the training that I underwent, I still can’t get over my own hump. The community perceives anything under high Masters league as “bad players whose input doesn’t count”. Excuse me guys, but this sort of stance is a loser’s attitude. We all are entitled input, let us fail. Let us notice that failure is an option and that it’d most likely give us losses. We’ll learn, don’t worry.
So far, I’m being massively discouraged to play the game not because of the community’s disdain of people who are not quick enough, reactive enough and focused enough. I’m massively discouraged by that voice in my head that tells me “You suck.”, “You have no future here”. I don’t feel encouraged. Because of my own internal issues, this is just amplified to a degree where I am unable to think anywhere near positively of myself (even though I definitely have the bases down – don’t think elitist, think self-satisfactory). Of course I have this ambition to be one of the best at the game (read: KT.Flash material or… better?) but that’s perfectionism for you.
I don’t want anyone to feel this way. That, and because I know some basics, I can make people focus on basics when asked. I can help people get better… not myself.
As long as you know how to do a 3rax, 14pool 14hatch or 4gate (yes, even 4gate) then you don’t suck. You know something. Go forward, seek people who can have a positive attitude to failure and be a gosu. If you aren’t at the stage where you don’t know what to do with your probes, then you don’t suck. You just need directions.